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(Un)Common Worlds III – Navigating and Inhabiting Biodiverse Anthropocenes: Human-Animal Studies Conference

The year 2022 marks the 30th anniversary of the Rio Convention on Biological Diversity, and so little has happened that the fourth decade begins with the recent UN Biodiversity Conference (COP15) declaration that we are now dealing with an existential crisis. One of the identified root causes of biodiversity loss is said to stem from people’s perceptions of other species – a realm of inquiry addressed widely in human–animal studies and critical animal studies.


The conference theme – Navigating and Inhabiting Biodiverse Anthropocenes – brings together scholars and artists across disciplines and fields to engage in dialogue about the ongoing environmental crises, namely but not limited to the loss of global biodiversity, and in connection with ongoing discussions of framing this era as the Anthropocene.


The confirmed keynote speakers are professor Jaana Erkkilä-Hill (visual arts, University of the Arts Helsinki), professor Naomi Sykes (archaeology, Exeter University), and professor Ang Bartram (Contemporary Art [Arts research], University of Derby), who will also be curating the exhibitions related to the conference.


(Un)Common Worlds III encourages scholars across disciplines to submit individual or working group proposals that engage critically with ongoing environmental crises and existing framings – be they global ones such as climate change or the loss of biodiversity, coupled with framings such as the Anthropocene or sustainable development, or more local and situated conflicts arising from particular ways of perceiving animals and non-human life in our communities and societies. The proposed presentations can be conventional scholarly or more arts-based interpretations of the conference theme and include a range of research designs from conceptual/theoretical to empirical and creative/experimental.


The proposals can include, but are not limited to, the following themes of navigating and inhabiting the biodiverse Anthropocenes:


Animal ethics and the Anthropocene
Post-colonial responses to the Anthropocene
Historical framings of the relationships between humans and other animals
Feminist understandings of environmental crisis
Ways of productive interdisciplinary engagement to tackle the challenges of the Anthropocene
The opportunities and challenges of alternative frameworks for addressing the current ecological crises (e.g. multispecies sustainability
Representations of biodiversity loss/extinction in art (visual arts, literature, films)
Affective responses to biodiversity loss and threatened non-human species
Critical animal studies perspectives to the questions of biodiversity loss and the Anthropocene
The futures of food, veganism, and the animal industrial complex in navigating the Anthropocene
The role of non-animal living beings, e.g. microbes, in inhabiting a biodiverse anthropocene
Imagined futures in the post-Anthropocene
Timeline and instructions for submitting your abstract
This CFP is open until 31 May 2023

Submit your abstract (max. 250 words) to  (preferably as a word doc or a pdf file with the word “abstract” in the subject field of the e-mail). Remember to add a title for your presentation as well as your name and affiliation and contact information. Add to the abstract if the paper will be presented in-person or online. We also invite artists to present their work. Contact the organizers to discuss your ideas for this option.

We will notify you if your abstract has been accepted in June 2023.

Registration for the conference will open in June 2023.


More information on the conference website https://uncommonworlds3.wordpress.com/